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Smithsonian has a look at African-American heirlooms

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By Gina Damron, Detroit Free Press

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Save Our African American Treasures initiative made a stop in Detroit on Saturday.

Area residents were able consult with experts on how to maintain and preserve their artifacts and prized heirlooms. James Gordon, public affairs specialist with the museum, said the initiative has been held across the country and the Detroit event, at the Detroit Public Library’s Main Branch, was the eighth stop.

Shirley Burke of West Bloomfield brought in a fiddle, believed to be 150 years old, that belonged to her great-grandfather, who she said received it from his slaveholder in Arkansas. She is interested in donating the instrument to the museum.

“It doesn’t help or serve any purposes to have it in the closet,” Burke said.

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Written by Symphony

December 3, 2010 at 9:00 am

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